The fourth meeting of the iHERITAGE: ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage project’s directive committee commenced in Amman on Monday with the participation of Italy, Spain, Egypt, Portugal, Lebanon, and Jordan.
The European Union-funded project aims to promote tourism destinations in participating nations on a global scale by using digital technology to enable visitors from around the world to view and learn about the cultural and historical heritage of those nations and to create employment opportunities.
During the opening session, Director-General of the Department of Antiquities Fadi Balawi noted that the tourism industry in Jordan offers 55,000 job opportunities, with 13 percent of GDP coming directly from tourism. He emphasized the project’s significance in promoting Petra, the red-rose city in Jordan.
President of the Jordan Society for Scientific Research, Entrepreneurship, and Creativity (JSSR) Rida Khawaldeh highlighted cooperation between the academic and industrial sectors to find new by-products through the use of the most advanced information and communication technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), to enhance cultural heritage in the Mediterranean region.
He also stated that the project encourages youth participation, as many of them have participated in local support groups, live laboratories, and training courses run by the JSSR. He went on to say that the project improved collaboration between universities and small and medium-sized businesses.
Over the course of three days, the meeting will discuss accomplishments and plans for the next phase of the project, as well as the budget, recommendations, directives, and barriers that have been standing in the way.